Supplies. . . a discussion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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My primary question is about colored pencils.  Does anyone have a brand that will consistently sharpen well?  I have heard that Ticondara pencils are great at sharpening, but I don't see them as a colored pencil.  We find Crayola to be much better than Rose Art, but they still have a pretty high "throw in the trash" rate.  

 

However, I thought that we could broaden my question to a more general discussion.  Which supplies do you have good luck with, which do you not?  

 

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#2 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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For colored pencils:

 

We like Lyra and Faber-Castell and have been using both brands for years.  I think they color better than Rose or Crayola.

We often buy the watercolor pencils.  We use them as colored pencils without water more often than water color but we have the option for either use.

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#3 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 09:10 PM
 
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I second the Lyra, especially watercolor pencils.  The fat pencils are great for broad strokes of bold color.  My girls are rediscovering how great they are.  Same for the Waldorf beeswax block crayons.  DH, who was an art student for years, adores the block crayons.  Gorgeous color.

 

Again, the Staedler watercolors for Waldorf are incredibly expensive, but the color is rich and gorgeous.  For brushes, I like nylon bristled artist's brushes.  Cheaper than the sable, but more expensive on the whole.  However, they last forever.

 

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#4 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I actually have Staedler watercolor pencils and they are great.  I never thought to use them as regular coloring pencils. 

 

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#5 of 7 Old 07-09-2013, 12:49 AM
 
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Another vote for Lyra, we always use them for art stuff for preference.

 

Totally random point here, but the other very surprising pencils that we've found to be really, really good are the IKEA ones. They seem to go in and out of stock but we buy them up, both the graphite and the coloured ones, when they come in and they've always been amazing quality, actually giving Lyra a run for their money. This is in the UK and of course with IKEA its a bit random as to the quality but we've always been impressed. My youngest loves drawing and so on but is terrible for losing things so they are pretty useful for us right now. Not artist quality but way, way better than, say, crayola or any cheap pencil I've used.

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#6 of 7 Old 07-09-2013, 09:00 AM
 
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Another helpful tool for colored pencils is getting a decent sharpener.  We get the good ones at the art store.  I like the ones where you can replace the sharpener blade, but only the really awesome art stores stock those.  The Kum brand from Germany has one attached to the lid of a little glass bottle to catch the shavings.

 

Correction: the watercolors (and block crayons) are made by Stockmar.

 

We pick up whatever sketch and watercolor paper is on sale, and I bought a lot of it.  We buy the heaviest stuff for the wet-on-wet, lighter (and cheaper) paper for the watercolor pencils.  

 

I have fond memories of my mother's encouragement for my love of drawing growing up.  She was such a miser in so many areas, but she never, ever complained about the reams of newsprint sketch paper I plowed through.  I don't buy the newsprint, though I really should encourage that.  "Real" artists practice on it--if only I can convince the girls.

 

ETA: It looks like my favorite sharpener is made by another manufacturer using the Kum-style sharpener and I have Kum blades for it.  Still, good stuff.  Looks like the replacement blades are available online.

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#7 of 7 Old 07-09-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Another helpful tool for colored pencils is getting a decent sharpener.  We get the good ones at the art store.  I like the ones where you can replace the sharpener blade, but only the really awesome art stores stock those.  The Kum brand from Germany has one attached to the lid of a little glass bottle to catch the shavings.

 

yeahthat.gif  We have Mercurius pencil sharpeners (not the type with the attachment to catch shavings) and they work great.  When I ordered the sharpeners I ordered extra blades...the extras came in a pack of 25 - enough for a lifetime!

 

We also have the Faber-Castell sharpeners that have metal containers attached to catch the shavings.  These probably get used more often because they are convenient...even in the car.  They also sharpen well and are easier to find in our area than Mercurius or Lyra.

 

Another art supply that is still used a lot in our house is window crayons.  We've bought Lyra Wax-O-Glass window crayons since the kids were 2 - they are now 9 and still use them.  (They are also great for leaving notes on the bathroom mirrors.  My husband leaves for work really early and I do not get up.  I stay up later than him so I leave any info he needs for the next day on his bathroom mirror.)

 

The kids are using Lyra Gel Crayons right now.  They are messy and frustrating to work with.  So...I would not recommend those.

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